After securing his maiden pole position, Haydon was on top form and determined to get on the podium and taste champagne in the opening event. His race-long fight with two other riders for third place eventually ended with his first visit to the podium in 2005 and enormous cheers from the fanatical crowd.
In race two Haydon was in third place and the only rider able to follow the pace of the leaders when he crashed out on the exit to Druids. Ducati’s Gregorio Lavilla and Leon Haslam shared a win each with Lavilla taking the Championship title in the process.
James Buckingham, standing in for the injured John Reynolds for this round, crashed out of the opening event and finished an impressive 14th after starting from 22nd on the grid in the second race.
JR remains in Darent Valley Hospital under observation for injuries he sustained during a crash in first practice on Friday. His doctors are happy with his progress and are working to transfer him to his home hospital in Nottingham early next week.
Rizla Suzuki will be on display at the International Motorcycle Show at Birmingham’s NEC between October 28th- November 6th and is already planning its pre-season test campaign in a bid to challenge for the Championship in 2006.
“I didn’t want my last race of the season to be a DNF but after scoring my first pole position in BSB and my first podium of the year in the opening race, I really went for it in the second outing. I was following Gregorio out of Druids when the rear end low-sided, which is a really weird way to crash. I’m not sure what happened, but am gutted as my bike felt good and I wanted another podium.
“Race one was great and I had to soak up a lot of pressure to take third place. That result shows the true potential of the Rizla Suzuki. Thanks to everyone in the team for a cracking weekend and a great season - I can’t wait to buy my technicians a beer this evening, they have thoroughly deserved it!”
“In race one a rider high-sided in front of me on the third lap. I couldn’t avoid him and ended up crashing at Surtees, which was disappointing as I was already five-places ahead of my starting position.
“Race two was much better and I had a proper battle for the points scoring positions, ending up 14th and more comfortable on the Rizla Suzuki than ever before. I have enjoyed this experience with the team as a stand-in for JR – but my thoughts are with him now in hospital and I wish him a quick and complete recovery. I have won the Privateers Championship and tasted life with a Factory Superbike team this year and that can’t be bad!”
Robert Wicks, Team Manager:
“James Haydon rode fantastically to take a thrilling podium for Rizla Suzuki. His pace all weekend shows the strides forward that we have made with the performance of the Rizla Suzuki GSX-R1000. In race two he was the only rider that looked like he may have been able to compete with the Ducatis and that is encouraging.
“James Buckingham put on an great performance in the second race to score points from a difficult 22nd place on the grid. He is a star of the future for sure.
“This weekend shows we are moving in the right direction and we can go into our closed season testing regime with a strong base package that allows us to build for a title challenge in 2006.
“According to his doctors JR had a good night in hospital and is in ever-improving spirits. Our thoughts are with him and getting him home to Nottingham as quickly as possible.”
Race One Result: 1: Gregorio Lavilla (Ducati) 29:07.520, 2: Leon Haslam (Ducati) +0.312, 3: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) +7.390, 4: Ryuichi Kiyonari (Honda) +7.498, 5: Dean Thomas (Kawasaki) +7.795, 6: Michael Rutter (Honda) +11.848, 7: Gary Mason (Honda) +20.394, 8: Steve Plater (Honda) +23.404, 9: Jeremy McWilliams (Honda) +30.839, 10: Jonathan Rea (Honda) +35.126.
Race Two Result: 1: Haslam 28:58.591, 2: Lavilla +1.980, 3: Plater +18.938, 4: Kiyonari +19.291, 5: Thomas +19.539, 6: Glen Richards (Kawasaki) +20.231, 7: Mason +20.385, 8: Rutter +26.386, 9: Tommy Hill (Yamaha) +34.100, 10: Rea +39.445, 14: JAMES BUCKINGHAM (RIZLA SUZUKI) +46.689.
Final Championship Standings:1: Lavilla 461, 2: Kiyonari 429, 3: Rutter 371, 4: Haslam 350, 5: Richards 241, 6: Thomas 198, 7: Karl Harris (Honda) 195, 8: Mason 174, 9: JOHN REYNOLDS (RIZLA SUZUKI) 139, 10: Michael Laverty (Honda) 129, 11: JAMES HAYDON (RIZLA SUZUKI) 126.